A functional analysis of numeral quantifier constructions in Japanese
MetadataShow full item record
The association patterns found between forms and meanings in language are not inevitable since the same meaning can be represented by different forms in different languages. However, it does not mean that they are completely random; instead, there are often some motivations for a certain form to have a certain meaning and their associations can be accounted for from a functional perspective. This study deals with a rich variety of numeral quantifier (NQ) constructions in Japanese and investigates the association patterns between the formal properties of those NQ constructions on one hand and their meanings and discourse functions on the other through a comparative analysis of the meanings and discourse functions of those constructions. The thesis is organized as follows. Chapter 1 shows that NQ consists of a numeral and a classifier, both of which have some subtypes, and introduces a total of ten NQ constructions that I deal with in this study. Chapter 2 through Chapter 4 analyze the discourse functions of the three major NQ constructions, namely the Pre-nominal NQ construction (Pre-N), the Juxtaposed NQ construction (JX), and the Floating NQ construction (FL), and discuss their functional relationships among their intra-constructional variations as well as the functional relationships with other NQ constructions that are structurally relevant to them. I also discuss the constraints on quantifier-float and propose that the constraints are multi-layered in syntax, semantics, and pragmatics respectively. Chapter 5 discusses the inter-constructional relationships of the three NQ constructions in terms of the cognitive representation of quantification and compares their discourse functions in regard to the collectiveness of the denoted entities, the scope of NQ, and the distribution patterns in text data. Chapter 6 presents the formal representations of the functional differences of the NQ constructions using the Role and Reference Grammar framework. This study shows that the NQ constructions in Japanese have non-arbitrary association patterns between their forms and meanings to a great extent and that the differences in their structural properties are clearly reflected in the differences in their meanings and discourse functions.